Ella French

Prosecutors Reveal New Details on What Happened Night 2 Officers Were Shot

NBC Universal, Inc.

Prosecutors detailed in court Tuesday what they allege happened the night two Chicago officers were shot, one of them fatally, during a traffic stop.

The two brothers charged in connection with the fatal shooting were ordered held without bail Tuesday.

Emonte Morgan and Eric Morgan were charged earlier this week following Saturday night's shooting that resulted in the death of 29-year-old Ella French and left her partner "fighting for his life."

Emonte Morgan, 21, was charged with one count of first degree murder, two counts of attempted murder of a police officer and unlawful use of a weapon, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said at a news conference Monday.

His brother, Eric Morgan, 19, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon with a prior conviction.

Police initially said three suspects were arrested following the shooting, which transpired after officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for expired plates. The third person in the vehicle wasn't charged.

The shooting occurred just after 9 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of 63rd Street and Bell Avenue.

Prosecutors alleged Eric Morgan was driving a vehicle with his brother Emonte Morgan in the back seat and a second passenger in the front seat when three officers pulled them over due to expired plates.

On Saturday night, Keith Thornton experienced what he said was “one of the hardest shifts of my entire public safety career.” The Chicago dispatcher was working as two officers were shot during a traffic stop. One of them, 29-year-old Ella French, was killed and the other remains in critical condition.

During that stop, Eric Morgan admitted to possessing cannabis to the officers and French asked him to exit the car, officials said. Two other officers at the scene asked the other two occupants in the vehicle to also get out of the car.

While Eric Morgan appeared initially cooperative, prosecutors said Emonte Morgan exited the car with a drink in one hand and a cell phone in the other, refusing to set the items down and "physically jerking his arms away from the officers."

As that happened, Eric Morgan allegedly attempted to flee the scene and one of the three officers chased after him, according to prosecutors.

In the moments that followed, prosecutors said a struggle ensued between Emonte Morgan and one of the remaining officers. Citing body camera footage, prosecutors said video showed a semiautomatic handgun in Emonte Morgan's waistband during the struggle, which moved from the rear of the car to the open passenger door at the front.

The officer yelled at Emonte Morgan to "show his other hand," prosecutors said, as French went around to help her partner, with both officers' handguns still holstered.

That's when prosecutors allege Emonte Morgan fired multiple shots, striking both French and the other officer.

Again citing body camera footage, prosecutors said video showed Emonte Morgan emerging from the passenger side of the car with a gun in his left hand.

The officer who chased Eric Morgan rushed back to the scene and prosecutors say Emonte Morgan then began firing at him before the officer returned fire. That's when officials allege Eric Morgan returned to the scene and both brothers fled as the third officer fired again, striking Emonte Morgan in the abdomen.

According to prosecutors, Emonte Morgan handed the gun to Eric Morgan and both brothers disappeared.

The shot officers were loaded into squad cars as other officers arrived at the scene and other units began searching for suspects.

Prosecutors said Emonte Morgan was found on the ground with a gunshot wound to his abdomen and left triceps. Eric Morgan, however, was "detained by citizens" inside a nearby yard, officials said.

A handgun was recovered by authorities, police said, and casings from the scene matched the weapon.

French ultimately died of a single gunshot wound to the head. Her partner suffered wounds to his right eye and shoulder and prosecutors added that "there's a bullet lodged in his brain."

Police said the incident was largely captured on bodycam video but it remains unclear if and when that footage would be released.

Eric Morgan was on probation for a Wisconsin theft conviction at the time of the shooting. His public defender argued he fled the scene and was not present for the shooting.

According to a federal indictment Monday afternoon, an Indiana man also faces federal charges after he allegedly illegally purchased the firearm used in the shooting and gave it to the convicted felon accused of killing officer French.

Jamel Danzy, 29, is charged with conspiracy to violate federal firearm laws in connection to the purchase of the weapon that was used in the shooting that left French dead and her partner fighting for his life, the indictment states. Danzy is the registered owner of the vehicle that the suspects were in at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

Contact Us